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grace1918 02-07-2013 06:53 AM

Going Crazy
 
My 12 year old son is very good during practice matches but is a choke artist at tournaments and loses to very low ranked players. He hits cross court shots all the time in practise but when they switch to playing sets, he starts to hit to the middle. I dont know if that is a mind set but it is driving me crazy as this has been the pattern for 2 years now. We were told that this will change with age and maturity but I don't see that happening. At academy, when they are playing drills, he hits amazing cross courts and this changes the second they change to sets. We have spoken with the coach and coach says that we need to wait it out until it clicks. I think I am running out of patience now...please advise.
Thanks

ga tennis 02-07-2013 07:01 AM

Be patient it will click. Its all part of the process. Some get it before others. Sometimes success too early can be a bad thing. Just be positive and dont judge just teach teach teach!!!! And make sure u tell him when he walks out on court that the most important thing he can do is smile and have fun.

grace1918 02-07-2013 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7197528)
Be patient it will click. Its all part of the process. Some get it before others. Sometimes success too early can be a bad thing. Just be positive and dont judge just teach teach teach!!!! And make sure u tell him when he walks out on court that the most important thing he can do is smile and have fun.


Thanks, GaTennis! I feel a bit better but is this common?

ga tennis 02-07-2013 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197536)
Thanks, GaTennis! I feel a bit better but is this common?

Yep.. Hang in there!!!

coaching32yrs 02-07-2013 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197536)
Thanks, GaTennis! I feel a bit better but is this common?

Ga is right. It is common for young player to play too conservative. Don't judge.. teach. Hitting down the middle is actually the riskier play. Less margin for error. Easier to attack. Opponent makes more errors when he/she has to move. Teach this.
.

mikeler 02-07-2013 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197536)
Thanks, GaTennis! I feel a bit better but is this common?

It happened to me as a junior. The more he plays competitive matches that count for something (even just bragging rights), the sooner it will subside. The best way to get rid of it is to play many tournaments. Eventually the tournaments become routine and he will relax and "play his game".

ga tennis 02-07-2013 07:38 AM

One thing that has helped me is to depersonalize the whole process and too take my expectations out of the equation.

andfor 02-07-2013 07:39 AM

Play cross-court tennis point games. Set up a box in the middle and if his ball lands in it he loses the point. Have fun with it. Be creative. He'll get there.

Rina 02-07-2013 07:48 AM

A bit of the same situation with my son, but not exactly, he is hitting cross court as the coach says, and keeps it up in matches, and misses on easy winners when he has a chance! Yes, coach teaches him when to attack a short ball and etc. but his weapon was down the line and now he never does it. I say OK, you are told cross court and that is what you are doing. But, he knew how to mix it up and now it seems like he doesn't know anymore.

Relinquis 02-07-2013 08:02 AM

he's 12. once he becomes a teen you'll find yourself trying to temper his aggression on court. he'll be going for lines and corners every time.

chalkflewup 02-07-2013 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197513)
My 12 year old son is very good during practice matches but is a choke artist at tournaments and loses to very low ranked players. He hits cross court shots all the time in practise but when they switch to playing sets, he starts to hit to the middle. I dont know if that is a mind set but it is driving me crazy as this has been the pattern for 2 years now. We were told that this will change with age and maturity but I don't see that happening. At academy, when they are playing drills, he hits amazing cross courts and this changes the second they change to sets. We have spoken with the coach and coach says that we need to wait it out until it clicks. I think I am running out of patience now...please advise.
Thanks

First of all, lose the word "choke" from your vocabulary. And hopefully your son doesn't use this word. I h8 that word and forbid my kid from using it.

"Running out of patience" and "driving me crazy" are not healthy phrases to use when talking about a 12 year old's tennis. It's not surgery.

My advice is that you take a break from one of his matches. Stay in the car and read a book or go watch another match. And I wouldn't grill him after the match about his win or loss. Be casual about it and if it doesn't drive you crazy, try it again!

Good luck!

matchplay 02-07-2013 08:14 AM

my player had issues like this
finally understood that playing conservative & losing was much worse then playing the way he was taught and losing, eventually began to win playing the way the coaches coached it
it will change, sooner then you think, maybe not as soon as you want

Chemist 02-07-2013 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197513)
My 12 year old son is very good during practice matches but is a choke artist at tournaments and loses to very low ranked players. He hits cross court shots all the time in practise but when they switch to playing sets, he starts to hit to the middle. I dont know if that is a mind set but it is driving me crazy as this has been the pattern for 2 years now. We were told that this will change with age and maturity but I don't see that happening. At academy, when they are playing drills, he hits amazing cross courts and this changes the second they change to sets. We have spoken with the coach and coach says that we need to wait it out until it clicks. I think I am running out of patience now...please advise.
Thanks

How did he choke? Missing easy attack on short balls or could not move his feet fast enough to retrieve balls? I guess it's latter - its likely that he left too many balls in the middle that were neither deep nor heavy and his opponent just kept attacking them. Like GA said that he would click one day and start to play more aggressive tennis. Well, another approach may be to improve his comfortable "hitting to the middle" game.

First, he needs to improve his footwork, his fitness including endurance so that he can outrun and outlast his opponents. Second, he needs to practice hitting heavier balls - hard and spins, from both forehand and backhand sides so that he can keep balls deep in the middle. Third, work on passing shot and lobs so that his opponent won't win points easily coming to the net. Against boys of his age, lobs would work most of the times. Fourth, keep work on other shots, serves, slice, dropshot, approach shots, volleys and overheads. During a match, he would hit most of balls heavy and deep to the middle, 30-40 times for every point. Very few kids would have the patience for a "consistency drill" during a match and only a very few top kids are able to attack a ball 6-7 times in a row without missing. He would attack only short and easy balls and may even come to the net a few times. This hard grinding game also works well against better and more aggressive players.

Woolybugger 02-07-2013 08:45 AM

too much pressure to win. ease off and enjoy the journey.

Number1Coach 02-07-2013 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grace1918 (Post 7197513)
My 12 year old son is very good during practice matches but is a choke artist at tournaments and loses to very low ranked players. He hits cross court shots all the time in practise but when they switch to playing sets, he starts to hit to the middle. I dont know if that is a mind set but it is driving me crazy as this has been the pattern for 2 years now. We were told that this will change with age and maturity but I don't see that happening. At academy, when they are playing drills, he hits amazing cross courts and this changes the second they change to sets. We have spoken with the coach and coach says that we need to wait it out until it clicks. I think I am running out of patience now...please advise.
Thanks

Give him consequences if he hits up the middle running sprints , push ups ect. , also demand that he hits cross court during sets and if he misses wide REWARD him even if he loses , once he starts seeing it work he will buy into it but to wait on him to figure it out is a recipe for disaster , try the coaches philosophy with his school work haha.

ga tennis 02-07-2013 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 7197865)
Give him consequences if he hits up the middle running sprints , push ups ect. , also demand that he hits cross court during sets and if he misses wide REWARD him even if he loses , once he starts seeing it work he will buy into it but to wait on him to figure it out is a recipe for disaster , try the coaches philosophy with his school work haha.

Those are good ideas for a coach to do, not always a good idea for a parent.

chalkflewup 02-07-2013 09:55 AM

Fitness (sprints, push ups, sit ups, etc...) is a requirement for anyone with aspirations of being a serious tennis player. You can teach your kid to enjoy fitness. In my opinion, using fitness as a punishment is an ill advised tactic. Thats not 1970s stuff. And depending upon the opponent, hitting up the middle is often an effective tactic.

Misterbill 02-07-2013 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chalkflewup (Post 7197911)
Fitness (sprints, push ups, sit ups, etc...) is a requirement for anyone with aspirations of being a serious tennis player. You can teach your kid to enjoy fitness. In my opinion, using fitness as a punishment is an ill advised tactic. Thats not 1970s stuff. And depending upon the opponent, hitting up the middle is often an effective tactic.

Yeah, I've never been able to figure out the motivational value of fitness as punishment. Fitness is a positive (necessary) thing. Why would anyone assign something positive as a punishment? It would seem to establish and reinforce the association of fitness as a negative event.

ga tennis 02-07-2013 10:33 AM

I like Brads idea my only thing is its not always the best idea for the parent to do this. I think in Brads unique situation it has worked great with Deit. The thing is is not every kids parents are their kids coach.

Misterbill 02-07-2013 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7198002)
I like Brads idea my only thing is its not always the best idea for the parent to do this. I think in Brads unique situation it has worked great with Deit. The thing is is not every kids parents are their kids coach.

You have said this twice now. What is the rationale?


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